There is a boy sitting at a table in your favorite coffee shop. His name is Joel and  right now he is 16 years old. He has short brown hair which is cut exactly like all the other boys'. He has green eyes, a delicate mouth, and a sharp, angled nose. When he sees you, he looks up and smiles. He invites you to sit with him and then asks you one question: Why are we here?

You are perplexed. You say: To get coffee.

Joel shakes his head impatiently and says: No, no. Why are we here on this earth?

You sit and think for a moment. You don't know, you tell him.

And he cocks his head to the side as if you confuse him and he says: Why don't you know?

You say: Because I don't know everything.

He says: I think you should know.

You frown and say: What do you mean?

Joel says: If you are to live on this earth you should know who you are and what you are doing;  yet you have no idea. You stumble about trying to fit into the restrictions you make for ourselves. What kind of a life is that?

I don't know, you answer.

Joel says nothing else and you get up to go. You leave the coffee shop, however, with something to think about.  You are thinking about this young man who asks strangers questions that no one knows the answer to. You wonder why this young man is so interested in your answers.

You are nothing special. You have an average job, an average house, and a wife that you once liked, but no longer see whatever it was that you saw before. Your two children are normal and your parents, typical. You think about the questions the boy asked you.